Wine pesticides not food safety risk, says Chinese watchdog

By Ankush Chibber

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pesticide

Wine pesticides not food safety risk, says Chinese watchdog
Pesticide levels are not a problem in Chinese red wines, says a top local watchdog.

Yan Weixing, an official at the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, said that pesticide residue posed no threat to humans if controlled within the normal range and its risks were fully gauged before use.

Weixing was responding to reports in Chinese publications, which claimed that wine products from three Chinese winemakers were sample tested and found to contain excessive levels of pesticide residues – carbendazim and metalaxyl.

The reports, which originated from a Chinese magazine that has since deleted the article, said high doses of the fungicide carbendazim could cause infertility issues and possibly lead to liver cancer.

The report caused a huge shock even as the shares of Changyu, a leading Chinese winemaker whose products were listed among the samples, dropped by almost 10% after the story went viral on local social networks on August 10.

Since then, Changyu has issued an official statement saying all its products were up to national standards.

This was followed by the testing agency, China National Research Institute of Food & Fermentation Industries, releasing a statement that the samples could not be identified as Changyu products and no past record showed the company's products were contaminated by pesticides.

As per the testing agency, the test results showed that the amount of carbendazim ranged from 0.00157mg/kg to 0.01942 mg/kg, much below the maximum pesticide residue limits allowed in China at 3mg/kg.

Also, the amount of metalaxyl in the wine samples ranged from 0.00211mg/kg to 0.01414 mg/kg, below the maximum pesticide residue limits in China, which is currently set at 1 mg/kg.

However, even with the results showing residue in a safe range, Weixing said that health authorities would tighten supervision over pesticides going forward.

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